4.1 / 5.0208 ReviewsDurability4.0 / 5Reliability4.2 / 5Performance4.0 / 5Ease Of Use4.2 / 5Value4.0 / 5Would You Recommend?Yes (37)No (7)Durability5 / 5Reliability5 / 5Performance1 / 5Ease Of Use1 / 5Value1 / 5Would You Recommend?NoA useless 50% only Radio (not transmitting 8KHZ frequency)Our airpot got a new frequency: 129.230 (8KHZ step).
When I dialed in this comm frequency I was able to receive the transmissions of the tower but I could not transmit anything to them. I only got a short 3 beep reply that tells me NO.
I sent a couple of emails to SPORTY'S to get some help in this case. But I never got an answer. It really is a poor support. So I been buying a YEASU two way radio that works perfect.
Finally I now quit buying SPORTY'S devices.
Gerhard F. Gentele
Mainhardt - Germany
Maybe I now get an answer to:
firstname.lastname@example.orgNovember 10, 2018Response from Sporty's Pilot ShopThank you for the review. The primary market for the SP-400 is the American market. The American FCC regulates frequency spacing capabilities, and 25 kHZ spacing is required. While the SP-400 can receive on 8.33 spacing, it can not transmit on 8.33 due to these FCC regulations. We hope that the regulation will change in the future.November 13, 2018Doug RDurability2 / 5Reliability3 / 5Performance1 / 5Ease Of Use2 / 5Value1 / 5Would You Recommend?NoDo not buy this useless radio, it is not 8.33KHz compliantI bought this radio as an 8.33KHz NAV/COM but when I tried to use it I found that it would not transmit on an 8.33 spaced frequency. This renders it utterly useless for any aviation purposes. The fact that it only transmits on the 25KHz spacing is not mentioned anywhere must mean that Sporty's are in violation of the trade descriptions act as they are selling something that is not for the purpose that it is intended for.October 16, 2018Response from Sporty's Pilot ShopSorry for the confusion, John. We do not advertise 8.33KHz spacing because we do not want to mislead pilots. We are not allowed (per the FCC) to sell a radio in the US that transmits on 8.33KHz spacing, so that is the reason for the limitation. We include the ability to receive on 8.33KHz as a bonus, but those frequencies are not used in the US.November 12, 2018John ZimmermanWould You Recommend?YesSP-400 ReviewThe SP-400 radio itself seems to be a good quality product, which I find not difficult to use. The manual supplied is clear and very useful for understanding functions which may not be obvious. I'm disappointed that the radio nor the Accessory Kit provided an AC Wall adapter or the high capacity rechargeable battery pack. Instead the Accessory pack included a 2nd hand strap (of questionable value for a new radio that comes with one), and a pack of alkaline batteries (which weren't even included with the battery pack of the new radio). I'd gladly forego the alkaline batteries, the spare strap, and even the 2nd battery case for something of real value for a new radio, like the recargable battery pack, or the AC Wall charger.October 14, 2018Purchased
1 month agoWould You Recommend?YesSporty's SP-400 Handheld NAV/COM Aviation RadioClear ground checks - haven't exercised the Nav function in the air yet. Easy to use. Disappointed Sporty's description doesn't openly state that the Headset Adapter (part # 8635A for $26) is necessary because the device jacks are proprietary-sized. Had to place a 2nd order (and pay another shipping charge) to use a headset. Plastic device that the batteries fit into the back of the radio is pretty brittle - suspect it will be the first thing that breaks. Consider buying the $99 accessory kit if you buy this radio.October 8, 2018Purchased
1 month agoDurability4 / 5Reliability2 / 5Performance1 / 5Ease Of Use2 / 5Value1 / 5Would You Recommend?NoToo weakAfter getting the SP-400, I called to get an IFR clearance before engine start, but clearance couldn't hear me well enough. Had to go the traditional route through the airplane COMs. Good for a scanner or maybe as a last-resort NORDO emergency, but not for routine pilot use.September 22, 2018Purchased
7 months agoDurability3 / 5Reliability4 / 5Performance4 / 5Ease Of Use3 / 5Value4 / 5Not user friendly and batter pack click broke.This radio is hard to set up. Works fine once the frequencie put in but I have a hard time getting it in. It will not pick up in a metal hanger. You have to be out side of your hanger. The batter clip that locks the battery in to the case broke off. I had to buy another battery pack.September 9, 2018Performance2 / 5Ease Of Use1 / 5Value2 / 5Would You Recommend?NoPoor sound qualityUnit is easy to use but the sound quality is horrible. The first one I purchased did not work but Sportys replaced it quickly.September 6, 2018Purchased
2 months agoDurability4 / 5Reliability5 / 5Performance4 / 5Ease Of Use3 / 5Value3 / 5Would You Recommend?NoNot a bad unit.Can be hard by Unicom approx 5 miles out from approx 3000 ft AGL using whip antenna from inside a 172. If you read the manual, it isn't hard to program, but it isn't intuitive either. Could be a lot easier to use. I cannot speak to durability but the case seems sturdy. I have not owned it long enough to speak as to reliability.
Speaker could be louder in the aircraft, but it works. Mic is clear and apparently noise cancelling enough.
The VOR function works well enough.
The unit is kind of clunky in feel, but it works as advertised. I cannot fathom why the designers didn't use 1/4 inch receptacles instead of 1/8 inch jacks, requiring an adapter cable. This is, after all, designed for airplanes, which use the larger plugs.
All in all, it is as advertised, if not as nice as I had hoped.
I will look at other units if I ever have to replace it, but so far, I am not uhappy.
In a No Comms situation situation, it will work as a backup.August 29, 2018Purchased
3 months agoI wanted a portable com radio to use in a leased at602 ag plane. The unit worked on the ground at idle power, but in the air with engine and wind noise plus wearing ear plugs, I could hear other aircraft transmissions but not able to understand what was being said. The unit may be fine in a “people airplane” but I have not tried it in another airplane. I also did not try any nav function. Therefore I cannot make a proper recommendation, I can only say it did not work for me in a “crop duster”.August 13, 2018Purchased
3 months ago
- Question and Answer
Browse 34 questions Browse 34 questions and 59 answerscan it be hooked up to the airplanes antenna?BEST ANSWER: Yes, as long as the antenna lead has a female BNC type fitting, or a suitable adapter. I made a lead with BNC connectors at both ends and a suction cup mount that allows me to remotely mount the Rubber Duccky type antenna that comes with the unit just under the top of my canopy. This improved performance without adding any exterior drag.Is the 5 year warranty transferable? SP-400BEST ANSWER: My Aeronca Chief has no radio or electrical system. Can this handheld be connected to a Sigtronics 2 place portable intercom? If so, what connector is required from the handheld to the intercom? Do you have them in stock as well as Sigtronics intercom extension cables to other side of cockpit so wiring can be semi permanently installed behind panel.Is there a way to make it transmit on 8.33 spacing, even if at a cost to modify? That is what questions about using in Europe etc mean. Europe and the UK are changing to 8.33 spacing and this radio will soon have no use there unless it can be adapted to transmit on 8.33. Thanks ps Very annoying for us, but we have no choice.Does a new certified remote pilot need a license to use the SP-400 handheld transceiver? Beginning last Monday, some remote pilots would appreciate the use of a transceiver for the same short correct comms with ATC when inside or under controlled airspace just to advise ATC of their ID and location before and after takeoff, which is required in the authorization (usually) given days before. The alternative is to use the mobile phone, but that adds to the tower workload. This is being discussed in formums now.BEST ANSWER: Per current FCC rules, an FAA-licensed airplane automatically receives a radiotelephone station license, and a licensed pilot receives a radiotelephone operator's license to operate the radios in the plane. Neither a UAS (as the station) nor a remote pilot (as the operator) would appear to benefit from these dispensations. If you Google "airplane radio license" you'll find this info at the FCC website.8.33 compatible ?BEST ANSWER: I bought this radio since it says "8,33 MHz spacing" in the features in the Operator's Manual. In Sweden we now have 8,33 MHz spacing since Jan 1, 2018. I was flying this weekend to an airport with an 8,33 frequency and was convinced I had a radio (SP400) that would cope with that. It did not.
There is NOTHING in the Operator's Manual about "receive only" on 8,33 frequencies or in the specifications on the website as far as I can see.Can you hook up a handheld mic/speaker to the sp400?BEST ANSWER: Although I don't have that setup, I would think if your plugs and jacks are standard that it would probably work. I purchased the adapters from Sporty's which plug into the SP400 and then allow you to plug in your headset. You now transmit using the PTT button on the SP400 and headset mic. The side tone generated allows you to hear your transmissions. Received communications are through the headset of course.How far is the range on this unit...Please?!BEST ANSWER: According to the product manual, the transmit power is 5 watts at 85% modulation. For comparison, the transmit power of the common Bendix-King KX125 panel nav-com is 5 watts minimum, 7 watts nominal. Thus, range is potentially similar to that of a panel nav-com. The limiting factor is primarily the antenna and the shielding of the airframe, and the latter is specific to your airplane -- my results don't count.Some of the comments indicate that the 400 eats a lot of batteries. Two points: Can it be plugged in a lighter plug to operate it and/or to recharge rechargables AA's or the Ni-Mah battery pack while in use? ThanksBEST ANSWER: Yes it can be plugged into the lighter for use and charging. However, for use as a backup, fully charged batteries will last long enough to get you down safely. That said, I plan on buying the Ni-Mah battery and desktop charger. For me, it adds just a little more peace of mind.Is it ok to use longer life lithium AA batteries instead of alkaline batteries in this radio?BEST ANSWER: I have use all type of batterie. Including rechargeable AA. All works perfectly.The printed catalog lists a '6-pin LEMO adapter.' Would I need to buy a LEMO adapter IN ADDITION to the regular 'radio-to-headset adapter', or can I substitute one for the other? IOW, can the LEMO adapter plug directly into the SP-400?Sporty's SP-400 Handheld NAV/COM Aviation RadioBEST ANSWER: The LEMO adapter will not plug directly into the SP-400. You would need to go from the LEMO to GA adapter then the GA to SP-400 adapter.I just tuned it to Cincinnati Approach from home, but can't hear anything; is this normal?BEST ANSWER: Yes this is normal most of the time unless you are at or very close to the airport. My SP 400 is the same and only picks up traffic close to me, but picks up fine and works quite well once airborne. If you get the SP400 in the air and see no change you should call sportys for an exchange.What does it come with?BEST ANSWER: It comes with transceiver unit, strap, and antenna. There is separate order if you like all connectors or rechargeable Li ion battery pack.my son is a pilot wants two way hand held radio in case his radio in airplane fails. is this what he needs?BEST ANSWER: Yes, this is a good choice. With the Sporty's Headset adapter (P/N 8635A - $26) he can plug directly into his headsetControllers including Clearance, Ground and Tower all say same thing, transmission is scratchy but understandable. Did I just get a bad radio as others have said they did? Or is there an adjustment to clean it up and make it useful?BEST ANSWER: depending on the A/C (fabric or metal) , an outside antenna may do wonders. If you have another radio in yr A/C, then use a splitter in the antenna to feed your SP-400. I'm very happy with mine, EXCEPT that it draws current even switched off; so after a few weeks you will have dead batteries even if you did not use yr SP400.Is this dual band, meaning can it do Nav & Com at the same time? If not how easy is it to switch back and forth between the two?BEST ANSWER: Switching between the frequencies is quite easy, however. Simply tune the first frequency (i.e. COM) and then tune in the second (NAV in your case). Now you just use the Last Frequency button on the side to toggle between the two frequencies.Will this radio power a ANR headset like a Bose A20?BEST ANSWER: The Bose A20 get power for ANR from its own batteries, not from the radio, so there would be no issue. You will however need an adapter to go from the ports on the radio to a standard aviation headset. Sporty's carries that part as well.May I use the sp400 in Europe/ Netherlands/Germany?BEST ANSWER: Why not? Whats matter , is that ' if you have a rádio qualification for air-air or air-atc' transmitions!I'm considering this SP-400 and find the battery comments discouraging. Could it be the peak current drain during transmitting damaging the fragile Alkaline battery chemistry? Has anyone used Lithium primary (non-rechargeable) cells in this radio? If it kills batteries while NOT in-use, it would be a worthless device.BEST ANSWER: I bought this handheld and put in high dollar camera batteries ( I never trust rechargeables) I pull it out and listen to the atis every prior to every flight and now and then give it a transmit radio check with ground cont.
Works like it should... I read folks whining that they left it fallow for a long time and it was dead when they needed it.... If you are relying on a piece of hardware (that runs on batteries) best to check it....
"dig you well before your thirsty"If I buy the SP-400 and the recommended $99 accessory kit, will I need anything else?BEST ANSWER: No, there would be nothing to buy unless you wanted a Rechargeable Battery.Do you still have manual for SP 200 series?Does the SP-400's cigarette lighter adapter work with 28 volts?BEST ANSWER: Yes, it will work with a 28-volt system.Is this model water resistant? (so that it can be suitable for a survival vest / ditch bag)BEST ANSWER: No, this item is not water resistantThe memory scan function on this radio stops when it receives signal. Is it possible to have it automatically continue to scan after it stops receiving? want to continuously monitor 3 frequenciesBEST ANSWER: No, it will not automatically continue to scan. The scan is to locate frequencies.Im thinking of buying this as a gift for someone who would love to just listen in to aircraft radio transmissions. Is this the right radio? - AustraliaBEST ANSWER: I would recommend one of the communication only radios. Icom A14 would be my choice for a communication only radio.Is there a compatible earpiece/lapel mic that will work with this radio?BEST ANSWER: Yes, you can atttach your headset to it with the adapter.What is the size of the screen?BEST ANSWER: The screen measures 1 11/16th inches x 1 11/16th inches.Does it have a scan feature to listen to multiple frequencies?BEST ANSWER: Yes it has a memory scan feature.Does my headset plug in?BEST ANSWER: If you would like to use this with your headset you will need the adapter, item 8635A.Hey can it pick up like csx?BEST ANSWER: This radio will only receive aviation communications and navigation frequencies.How many watts output ?BEST ANSWER: 5 watts.
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